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The dangers pedestrians face after dark

On Behalf of | May 21, 2024 | Pedestrian Accidents

As the sun sets and the bustling daytime streets transition into the quieter, more serene settings of twilight and night, the risks for pedestrians increase significantly. Reduced visibility, driver fatigue, and other factors combine to create a potentially hazardous environment for those on foot. What should you know before taking a walk after the sun has set?

How common are accidents during this time?

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), around half of pedestrian fatalities occur between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. This statistic highlights the need for heightened awareness and precaution among pedestrians after dark.

Limited visibility and perception during the twilight hours

Twilight, the time between sunset and nightfall, poses a particular challenge for both pedestrians and drivers. During this time, the remaining sunlight can cause glare, and the fading light can make it difficult for drivers to see pedestrians.

The human eye also struggles during this time, as it transitions from daytime vision to nighttime vision. This can affect a pedestrian’s ability to judge distance and speed of oncoming vehicles.

Darkness and distractions at night

Once night falls, the risks can intensify. Darkness significantly reduces a driver’s visibility. Depending on the area, street lighting may also be inadequate, leaving pedestrians even less visible to drivers.

Additionally, drivers may be more likely to under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which can impair their reaction time and judgment. They may experience fatigue after a long day, and the California Office of Traffic Safety notes that sleep deprivation could impact their ability to drive as much as alcohol consumption.

Being conscious of these risks can help pedestrians protect their safety. However, accidents can occur even when pedestrians take precautions, and injured people should take steps to understand their rights.